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1st International Workshop on Dynamic Modeling of the Oral, Pharyngeal and Laryngeal Complex for Biomedical Applications (OPAL-2009)

Many clinicians and researchers around the world are actively engaged in research dealing with the OPAL complex. The human OPAL complex is critical for eating, breathing, sleeping and communicating, thus, furthering our understanding of its dynamics and function is critical to diagnosis and treatment of a variety of disorders. Researchers and clinicians approach the OPAL structures from multiple perspectives and techniques. This workshop brings together Computer Scientists, Dentists, Engineers, Linguistics, Oro-facial Surgeons, and Respirologists among others to share techniques and approaches to modeling the OPAL complex and applying these models to new biomedical applications.

Important Dates:
Workshop Date: June 26-27, 2009
Title and Abstract: May 18, 2009 Please send immediately if you haven't
Paper submission date: June 15, 2009
Special A/V needs sent: June 15, 2009 (we will have video projections and speakers)
Special journal issue submission date: July 31, 2009 (see below)

Directions & Location:
The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Forestry Sciences Building, 1001 - 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6R 1Z4

Registration: To register for the OPAL Workshop please download the application form, fill it in and return to Lavana, ASAP.

Final Program:
OPAL Final Program

Current List of Attendees:
Note: please check your name is here in case we made an error.
OPAL Workshop Attendees

Internet Access For guests staying at Marine Drive Residence free wired internet access is available if you bring cable. UBC Housing has some cables available on a first come first serve basis. For a $10.00 deposit guests may loan cable. Wireless internet is available on UBC Campus; the password and login is "opal2009".

On site accommodation is available at University of BC, Marine Drive Residence located at 2205 Lower Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 1X1. Only a 10 minute walk to the OPAL Conference Workshop located in the Forestry Sciences Building. Arrangements have been made for out of town guests to stay at UBC Marine Drive Residence for 3 nights paid by the workshop: Thursday, June 25, Friday, June 26 & Saturday, June 27. Private bedroom with single bed, telephone and clock radio, in a four-bedroom shared apartment. (Separate bedrooms with lock) Guests share two washrooms, lounge area and kitchen. Accommodations must be made by May 31, 2009 to qualify for special rates. If you are out of town guest please download *Marine Drive Housing Information Sheet (pdf) for detailed housing information.

We have arranged a special group rate of $49.00/night if you are in a quad shared accommodations; this rate only applies if 4 individuals are sharing. For single room the special rate is $99.00/night. If you require additional nights please indicate on this form. If we cannot get 4 individuals in a quad suite we will need to book you into a single bedroom the special rate is $99.00/night. We will arrange the booking for the extra nights as well, however, you will be responsible for the additional charges.

Transportation: We recommend for you to get a taxi to transport you to UBC campus.


Sid Fels, Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC), UBC
Fernanda Almeida, Oral Biological & Medical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, UBC

Topics covered in the workshop include, but are not limited to:

  • Data acquisition techniques:
    • imaging: MR, CT, Cine-floroscopy, X-Ray, intra-oral scanners, etc.
    • sensors: EMMA, intra-oral sensors, vision based tracking, etc.
  • Data processing methods
    • statistical methods
    • medical image processing
    • elastography
    • patient specific model extraction
  • Modeling approaches
    • 3D biomechanical models
    • fluid models for swallowing
    • airflow models for respiration
    • FEM, spring mass models
    • different anatomical structures
    • patient specific modeling approaches
  • Validation approaches
    • mechanical model
    • in vivo methods
    • in vitro methods
    • cross-validation approaches
  • Dysfunction modeling
    • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    • Tongue reconstruction
    • Jaw reconstruction
    • Dysphagias
    • Speech disorders

For more information about the workshop, please contact:
Sid Fels (ssfels @
Fernanda Almeida (falmeida @
Administrative contact: Lavana Lea (lavana @

Workshop Paper Submission

All workshop participants are expected to submit a paper for the workshop. Please use the following style templates:

If you want this to appear on the website for public distribution, you need to also download and fill in this permission form:

so we can distribute your paper. If you do not want it to be distributed, please let us know. Please use the copyright notice though so we can include it in the printed proceedings that are given to workshop participants only.

Papers were due on by June 15, 2009.

Special Issue of Journal of Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering

Taylor & Francis will expedite reviews for a special issue of the Journal of Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering based on top papers from the workshop and in the field. Please let us know if you would like to be considered for this special issue. Dr. Lynne Bilston, Dr. Fernanda Almeida and Dr. Sid Fels will be guest editors of this special isssue. The timeline we are looking for is to have the special issue out in early January, 2010. After the workshop, authors can update their manuscripts and submit them for the special issue. These will then be sent for expedited review.

Submission deadline for Special Issue: July 31, 2009.

Instructions for the special issues submission are at: To submit to the special issue please:

  1. choose: "Special Issue Paper" from the drop down menu
  2. when you get to the question, "Is this manuscript a candidate for a special issue?," click 'yes' and then enter the title, "Dynamic Modeling of the Oral, Pharyngeal and Laryngeal Complex for Biomedical Applications."

These steps will make sure it comes to Lynne, Fernanda and Sid.

NOTE: if you are willing to be a reviewer for the special issue, please contact us so we can add you to the list.

For more information contact:
Sid Fels (ssfels @
Fernanda Almeida (falmeida @
Lynne Bilston (l.bilston @